What started off as an innocent afternoon of playing “let me show you my chicken coop before I attempt to give you a beat down” in Miami County, Ohio, came to a screeching halt when one combatant decided to brain the other with a shovel. As with every non-news story these days, there were multiple people who stood by gawking at the whole thing through their tiny camera phone lenses. The videos were eventually uploaded to YouTube, where they went viral with one girl now being known simply as Shovel Girl.
On May 4th, two teenage girls, Miranda Fugate and Emily Olinger, agreed to meet in Olinger’s yard for a good, old-fashioned fistfight. The exact reason why the girls were at odds with each other is still unclear, but reports are that it involved a boy and that the two had been engaged in a war of words for over a year.
Either way, Fugate and Olinger seem downright cordial to each other at the beginning of the video. Olinger even gives Fugate and her friends a tour of the Olinger family chicken coop (no, I’m not making that up). And when it comes down to Fightin’ Time, both girls agree to each other’s rules for the bout, which include “don’t hit me in the face”. Olinger even proudly points out that she has decided to wear her hair up so as to help Fugate resist the temptation to pull it.
Alas, after several jabs from Fugate find their way to Olinger’s face, the fight quickly disintegrates. Despite Fugate offering to wait while Olinger composes herself so that Fugate can “beat her ass some more”, Olinger wants no part of a rematch. She orders Fugate off her property, stating she will shoot her with a BB gun if she doesn’t leave. When Fugate refuses to vacate the premises, Olinger turns and makes her way towards the front door of her house. At this point, Fugate makes a decision she probably now regrets. Rather than walk away, she chases after Olinger. And that’s when the shovel comes into play.
Just as Fugate is catching up to her nemesis, Olinger whirls around and grabs a shovel that was leaning against the house. Using her apparent catlike reflexes, Fugate quickly leaps backwards, turns, and attempts to make her escape.
She doesn’t get very far though. While it doesn’t appear as though she took aim, Olinger nonetheless whips the shovel at Fugate. As if it were on a rope, the shovel flies through the air, the metal part eventually striking Fugate squarely on the head with a mighty “clang” usually reserved for old school episodes of the Tom and Jerry Show.
Fugate immediately crumples to the ground and begins crying, claiming she can’t hear. After a few seconds of Blair Witch-style cinematography, Josh Officer, one of the teenagers who had been sitting idly by, filming this ridiculous event, finally decides to step forward and get involved. He boldly suggests that, instead of calling an ambulance, Fugate come back to his house because, after all, he “has a first aid kit.”
Fugate did eventually make her way to seek medical treatment and states that the shovel gave her a concussion and that she is deaf in one ear and may require surgery. Almost as soon as the girls’ friends (if they can be called that), uploaded their footage of the fight/braining to YouTube, they went viral, with Fugate being dubbed Shovel Girl. In fact, the original videos have already spawned several copycats videos and even a bizarre “remix” version, where the “clang” of the shovel has been looped to play along with the melody from A-Ha’s Take On Me.
Of course, not everyone took the video lightly. Especially not the Miami County Sheriff’s Office, who, after viewing the video and determining it was not staged, filed disorderly conduct charges against both girls in Miami County Juvenile Court.
All joking aside, I find the whole video disturbing, especially the fact that while all this is going on, friends and family members of both girls just stand there, filming. Even after Miranda Fugate is lying on the ground in pain, the cameras continue to roll. But far and away, the weirdest thing is that even though you’d think one would have to be pretty mad to want to brain someone with a shovel, these girls are very polite to each other, at least in the beginning. I mean, seriously, if I really wanted to throw down with someone, I’m just going to do it. I’m not going to sit around and be all cordial with them. And I’m certainly not going to give them a guided tour of my chicken coop. So I find the fact that these two girls were able to turn their anger on and off on a whim very unnerving…and further evidence that I need to get my wife to refrain from flipping passing motorists off on I-71. You never know when one of them will by carrying a shovel.
This story is breaking all over the place, but you can get the download on the incident by clicking here. While this article has a lot of typos (and randomly changes the ages of the girls from 14 to 16 to 18), it does have a lot of background on the incident and a lot of screen grabs from the incident.
Read more about the charges filed against the two girls here.
And while I’m sure you’ve already clicked on the many links imbedded in this post, you can watch the full fight video here.
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